Decision Support Tools for Managers

Science Papers

The featured science papers represent a sampling of the extensive published science on sage grouse and the sagebrush steppe. We’ve selected articles of particular interest to the Sage Grouse Initiative partnership.

We also have a  section on decision support. mapping tools & technical field guides for biologists, rangeland conservationists, and others to carry out sage grouse conservation on the ground. (Scroll Down).

SGI’s Science to Solutions Series

SGI-Sponsored Science Papers

Smith, Joseph, et. al. Phenology largely explains taller grass at successful nests in greater sage-grouse. 2017

Severson, John, et al. Better living through conifer removal: A demographic analysis of sage-grouse vital rates. 2017.

Multiple papers & authors. Woody invasion of western rangelands: Using grouse as focal species for ecosystem restoration. Special Issue of Rangeland Ecology & Management, Journal for the Society of Range Management. 2017.

Chamber, Jeanne, et al. Using Resilience and Resistance Concepts to Manage Threats to Sagebrush Ecosystems, Gunnison Sage-Grouse, and Greater Sage-Grouse in their Eastern Range: A Strategic Multi-Scale Approach. 2016.

Chambers, Jeanne, et al. Using Resilience and Resistance Concepts to Manage Persistent Threats to Sagebrush Ecosystems and Greater Sage-grouse. 2016.

Cross, Todd, et al. Hierarchical population structure in greater sage-grouse provides insight into management boundary delineation. 2016.

Maestas, Jeremy, et al. Tapping Soil Survey Information for Rapid Assessment of Sagebrush Ecosystem Resilience and Resistance. 2016.

Donnelly, Patrick, et al. Public lands and private waters: Scarce mesic resources structure land tenure and sage-grouse distributions. 2016

Baruch-Mordo, Sharon, et al., Saving sage-grouse from the trees: A proactive solution to reducing a key threat to a candidate species, 2013

Copeland, Holly, et al. Measuring the Effectiveness of Conservation: A Novel Framework to Quantify the Benefits of Sage-Grouse Conservation Policy and Easements in Wyoming, 2013.

Chambers, Jeanne C, et al. Using resistance and resilience concepts to reduce impacts of invasive annual grasses and altered fire regimes on the sagebrush ecosystem and greater sage-grouse: A strategic multi-scale approach. 2014.

Murphy, Tim, et al, Trial by Fire: Improving Our Ability to Reduce Wildfire Impacts to Sage-Grouse and Sagebrush Ecosystems Through Accelerated Partner Collaboration, 2013.

NRCS CEAP Conservation Insight: Wyoming’s Core Area Policy and Conservation Easements Benefit Sage-Grouse, 2014.

NRCS CEAP Conservation Insight: Wetlands Provide Vital Sage Grouse Summer Habitats on Private Lands, 2014.

NRCS CEAP Conservation Insight: Targeted Conifer Removal: a Proactive Solution to Conserving Sage-Grouse, 2014.

NRCS CEAP Conservation Insight: Applying the Sage-Grouse Collision Risk Tool to Reduce Bird Strikes, 2012.

Sant, Eric D., et al, Assessment of sagebrush cover using remote sensing at multiple spatial and temporal scales, 2014.

Stevens, Bryan, et al, Greater Sage-Grouse and Fences: Does Marking Reduce Collisions?, 2012.

The Nature Conservancy, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, NRCS Sage Grouse Initiative, A study to investigate how sage grouse and mule deer conservation efforts intersect in Wyoming, In Progress.

Other Sage Grouse Science of Note

Bird Conservancy of the Rockies, Evaluating Efficacy of Fence Markers in Reducing Greater Sage-Grouse Collisions With Fencing Final Report, 2016.

Chambers, Jeanne C., et al, Resilience to Stress and Disturbance, and Resistance to Bromus tectorum L. Invasion in Cold Desert Shrublands of North America, 2013.

Connelly, John, et al, Guidelines to Manage Sage Grouse and their Habitats, 2000.

Davies, Kirk, et al, Saving the Sagebrush Sea: An ecosystem conservation plan for big sagebrush plant communities, 2011.

Fedy, Bradley, et al, Interseasonal Movements of Greater Sage-Grouse, Migratory Behavior, and an Assessment of the Core Regions Concept in Wyoming, 2012.

Johnson, Dustin and Kirk Davies, (website) Medusahead Management in Sagebrush–Steppe Rangelands: Prevention, Control, and Revegetation, 2012. Paper as PDF.

Knick, Steven, et al, Modeling ecological minimum requirements for distributions of greater sage-grouse leks: implications for population connectivity across their western range, 2013.

Miller, Richard F., et al, A Review of Fire Effects on Vegetation and Soils in the Great Basin Region: Response and Ecological Site Characteristics, 2013.

Pyke, David, Restoring and Rehabilitating Sagebrush Habitats, 2011.

Smith, Rebecca, Conserving Montana’s Sagebrush Highway: long distance migration in sage-grouse, 2013.

Tack, Jason D., et al, Greater Sage-Grouse Migration Links to USA and Canada: a biological basis for international prairie conservation, 2011.

Taylor, Rebecca L., Jason Tack, David Naugle, L. Scott Mills, Combined Effects of Energy Development and Disease on Greater Sage-Grouse, 2013.

USGS, Summary of Science, Activities, Programs, and Policies that Influence the Rangewide Conservation of Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), 2013.

More Resources for Sage Grouse Science

Journal Map: Sage grouse online bibliography. Journal Map is a “scientific literature search engine that empowers you to find relevant research based on location and biophysical variables as well as traditional keyword searches.”

USFWS Searchable Online Data Base for Science Papers on Sage Grouse and Sagebrush Ecosystems: links to more than 700 scientific articles, book chapters, theses, dissertations, and technical reports.

BLM: Sage-Grouse and Sagebrush Conservation

Public Lands Council: Sage Grouse Conservation Library

USGS: SAGEMAP – A GIS Database for Sage-grouse and Shrubsteppe Management in the Intermountain West.

SageSTEP (Sagebrush Steppe Treatment Evaluation Project) – regional experiment evaluating methods of sagebrush steppe restoration in the Great Basin.

Great Basin Science Delivery Project

Landscape Conservation Management Analysis Portal

Policy Papers/Reports

We invite you to explore both policy papers of note for sage grouse, and reports that include the IWJV’s quarterly success reports for our 24 SGI staff, science and communications efforts.

Reports From Partners

California Partners in Flight, PRBO: The Sagebrush Bird Conservation Plan.

IWJV 2013 Implementation Plan (See Chapter 8, pages 8.20-8.23 for the details on how SGI serves as the cornerstone of the IWJV’s approach to sagebrush habitat conservation.)

IWJV: Farm Bill Conservation Programs Forum Focused on the West, 2011.

U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station, Sage-Grouse on the edge: Understanding and Managing Western Landscapes for Their Survival, 2012


Energy Development and Wildlife Conservation in Western North America. David Naugle, editor, 300 pages, 2010. This 300-page book offers a road map for securing our energy future while safeguarding our wildlife heritage. Chapter four focuses specifically on sage grouse and the cumulative impacts of energy development. Order this book on the Inland Press website.

Greater Sage-Grouse, Ecology and Conservation of a Landscape Species and Its Habitats. Steven T. Knick and John W. Connelly, editors, 646 pages, 2011. This multifaceted volume,an important foundation for developing conservation strategies and actions, provides a comprehensive synthesis of scientific information on the biology and ecology of the Greater Sage-Grouse. Bringing together the experience of thirty-eight researchers, it describes the bird’s population trends, its sagebrush habitat, and potential limitations to conservation, including the effects of rangeland fire, climate change, invasive plants, disease, and land uses such as energy development, grazing, and agriculture. Order this book on the University of California Press website.